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Parenting a Child with Learning Disabilities/Disorders

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Program Description and Objectives

What are the critical things to know if your child has been diagnosed with a learning disorder/disability (LD)? This is a question many parents ask after their child has been diagnosed with an LD. This practical session is designed to empower parents / participants with basic information about LDs, how to help their child at home, and the ABC’s of advocacy.

  • The first part of the workshop provides basic information about LDs. It highlights what LDs are and are not, conditions which may coexist with LDs, and what LDs look like at various stages of a child’s life. Testing and its interpretation are discussed.
  • This second part of the workshop highlights what intervention looks like in the classroom and in one-on-one environments. The purpose and use of accommodations and supports are outlined, along with how parents can actively support their child at home.
  • The final part of the workshop presents strategies for advocating for a student with LDs in a manner that builds positive relationships with teachers and schools. Relevant legislation, including the Standards for Special Education and the Supreme Court Decision on Special Education (Moore decision), are reviewed.

This workshop tends to be one where parents interact with each other.  Participants are welcome to bring questions. Parents or caregivers who prefer to be more quiet in environments of this nature are also very welcome. Participation is not mandatory.

Detailed handouts are provided to participants.


The target population for the Parenting a Child with Learning Disabilities /Disorders include those parents and caregivers who wish to learn more about LDs. Often, teachers and professionals from the community participate in the sessions; their input is particularly welcome.

Program Staff and Size

The instructor for Parenting a Child with Learning Disabilities /Disorders is normally Kathryn Burke. Kathryn is the parent of an adult son with learning disabilities, autism and other complex needs. She is a former health care executive. She served as the Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta for five years, and has been active as a volunteer in the area of disability supports for almost two decades. She is the author of the best selling book, An Accidental Advocate, which chronicles her family’s experience in supporting her son. She has owned and operated the Centre for Literacy since May 2013.

This program is capped at 18 participants.


Parenting a Child with Learning Disabilities / Disorders is held over three consecutive evenings on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, or periodically on a Saturday.  Our calendar of events may be accessed for information about scheduled Parenting a Child with LD Workshops and other sessions designed for students, parents and the public.

The schedule for 2018 is as follows:

  • Saturday, August 25th, 2018 from 9 am to 3 pm. Lunch on own.
  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, October 22, 23, and 24, 2018 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm.
  • Saturday, January 12th, 2019 from 9 am to 3 pm. Lunch is not provided.
  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 11, 12 and 13, 2019 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm.
  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, May 27, 28 and 29 , 2019 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm.


A nominal fee of $30 is charged to offset expenses. GST will be added to the fee. Contact the Centre for Literacy at 780-434-3698. Registration can be taken over the phone. Fees can be added to monthly invoices of existing Centre for Literacy clients.